After spending last weekend on the road the 11th-ranked University of Louisville field hockey team will return to Trager Stadium to open a four-game home stand. The Cardinals will open ACC play Friday at 5 p.m. against No. 2 North Carolina in a rematch of the 2017 ACC Championship game. Louisville will take on California Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission is free.
The Weekend Ahead
Sept. 7 vs. No. 2 North Carolina, 5 p.m. | Sept. 9 vs. California
Television: ACC Network Extra
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Venue: Trager Stadium
Live Scoring: GoCards.com
Twitter updates: ULFieldHockey
Promotions: Sept. 9 vs. California – Pregame youth clinic starting at 12 p.m., open to players ages 5-13. Registration starts at 11:45 a.m. For more information, contact Debbie@gocards.com.
• Also on Sunday, the Cardinals will raise awareness for the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers. For more information about Friends of Jaclyn visit http://friendsofjaclyn.org/mission/.
Louisville Field Hockey Quick Hits
• The Cardinals (3-1) are coming off of a pair of road wins. UofL opened Labor Day weekend with a 2-1 neutral site win against UMass Lowell and ended with a 2-1 victory over No. 9 Delaware.
• Freshman Erica Cooper leads the team with two goals after scoring one in the first two games of the season.
• Senior Katie Walsh has dished out a team-best three assists.
• Louisville stands at No 11 in the NFHCA rankings released on Sept. 4. This marks the 56th straight week Louisville has appeared in the top 20 rankings dating back to the 2013 season.
• UofL was picked to finish third in the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference Field Hockey Championship, according to a vote of the league’s seven head coaches. Seniors Ayeisha McFerran and Taylor Stone were also named to the Preseason All-ACC Team.
• Justine Sowry is in her eighth season at the helm for the Cardinals. The 2016 NFHCA West Region Coach of the Year has compiled a 97-50 record at Louisville and has an overall 156-81 record while in her 12th season as a head coach.
• UofL finished the 2017 season with a 14-8 overall record and made its fourth straight and seventh overall NCAA appearance. The Cardinals reached the finals of the ACC championship after defeating No. 11 Syracuse 3-2 in the program’s first ACC quarterfinal victory and following with a thrilling 3-2 shootout win over No. 2 Duke in the semifinals.
Cards Against the Field
Series History: UNC leads 4-3
Last Meeting: Nov. 5, 2017 – UNC won 1-0 at Trager Stadium in ACC Championship Game
Recap: The No. 10-ranked University of Louisville field hockey fell 1-0 to sixth-ranked North Carolina in a tightly contested ACC Championship final Sunday afternoon at Trager Stadium.
• In the 18th minute Eva Smoelnaars and Eva van’t Hoog connected with Malin Evert on a penalty corner opportunity, sending a sweeping shot from the top of the circle into the cage to give the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead.
• Overall, the Tar Heels led the Cardinals 13-4 in shots and 4-1 in penalty corners. Ayeisha McFerran recorded five saves, while North Carolina’s Amanda Hendry had four stops.
Scouting the Tar Heels: The Tar Heels are undefeated so far in the 2018 season with a 4-0 record as they enter ACC play. No. 2 North Carolina comes to Louisville after a pair of shutout wins over Princeton and Penn last weekend. Ashley Hoffman was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts over the weekend while scoring two goals. Hoffman leads the Tar Heels in goals scored with five on the season.
Last Meeting: Sept. 4, 2015 – UL won 1-0 in Davis, Calif.
RECAP: Victoria Stratton’s goal in the second half lifted the 12th-ranked University of Louisville field hockey team to a 1-0 win over host California.
• Ayeisha McFerran collected one save en route to her second consecutive shutout. In the game, Louisville outshot Cal 11-4 and held a 7-3 edge in corners.
Scouting the Golden Bears: Cal enters the weekend with a 2-1 record prior to a matchup with North Carolina Saturday. The Golden Bears are fresh off a victory over Miami (OH) last weekend, 1-0. Cal also has a win over Providence and loss to No. 4 Maryland. Cal is led by Megan Rodgers, who has produced four goals in three games played.
The Cardinals went 2-0 on the weekend with a pair of tough road wins over UMass Lowell and No. 9 Delaware.
Louisville 2 – Delaware 1
• The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead behind goals by freshman Elizabeth Allgeier and senior Taylor Stone and held on to beat the Blue Hens (2-2).
• In the game, Delaware held a 7-5 edge in shots, with four shots on goal apiece. Louisville gained a 3-1 advantage in corners. McFerran (3-1) and Rhodes (2-2) each had two stops in the contest.
Louisville 2 – UMass Lowell 1
Goals by sisters Katie and Meghan Schneider lifted the eighth-ranked University of Louisville field hockey team to a 2-1 win over UMass Lowell Saturday afternoon at Richmond’s Crenshaw’s Field.
• Freshman Katie Schneider connected on her first career goal to break open a scoreless game in the second half. After UMass Lowell delivered the equalizer, sophomore Meghan Schneider notched her first career score to secure the Cardinals’ win.
• In the game Louisville held a 12-5 advantage in shots – including a 5-4 edge in the second half – and had seven corners to UMass Lowell’s three. Senior Ayeisha McFerran collected two while Berkhout had four stops for the River Hawks.
Louisville will continue its four-game home stand next weekend when the Cards play
Cards No. 11 in Penn Monto/NFHCA Rankings
UofL is No. 11 in the 2018 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Poll released on Sept. 4. The Cardinals dropped three spots after earning their highest preseason ranking in program history at No. 8.
• This marks the 56th straight week Louisville has appeared in the top 20 rankings dating back to the 2013 season.
• The Cards spent six weeks in the top 10 in 2017 after debuting at No. 9 – previously the highest preseason ranking in program history.
• On Oct. 7, 2014, Louisville appeared at No. 5 in the coaches’ poll marking the second top-five appearance in program history with Louisville achieving a program-best No. 4 ranking in the 2002 season.
All seven ACC field hockey programs are ranked among the top 18 in the nation with four appearing in the top 10. North Carolina (No. 2), Duke (No. 4), Virginia (No. 8) and Syracuse (No. 10) appear in the top 10 while Louisville (No. 11), Boston College (No. 13) and Wake Forest (No. 18) round out the ACC schools.
• Every ACC field hockey team has been ranked for the entirety of the last five seasons, a streak that dates to October of 2012 and includes 58 consecutive NFHCA Polls.
Seven different players have combined to score eight goals in the early season with freshman Erica Cooper’s two goals leading the way
Walsh dishing it out
Senior Katie Walsh leads the team with a career-high three assists on the season, one in each of Louisville’s wins.
Tough Road Ahead
Nine of Louisville’s 18 opponents appear in the NFHCA top 25. In addition to the aforementioned ACC opponents, the Cardinals’ non-conference slate features matchups against No. 9 Delaware, No. 12 Northwestern, No. 21 Albany and No. 24 Ohio State.
For the second straight year and the sixth time overall, Trager Stadium will serve as the host site for the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship. The event was also staged on the Cardinals’ home field in 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2017. Located in Cardinal Park on the UofL campus, Trager Stadium opened in 2000 and was expanded in 2008 with a seating capacity of 2,500.
Home Sweet Home
Louisville compiled a 9-3 record at Trager Stadium in 2017, bringing its home tally to 41-9 since the 2013 season.
• In 2016, the Cards also posted a 7-2 record at Trager Stadium.
• The Cards were 8-1 at Trager in 2014. On Oct. 17, 2014 Louisville fell 2-1 in overtime to No. 17 Boston College, snapping a 16 -game home victory streak dating back to the 2012 season.
• Prior to the Boston College loss in 2014, the Cards’ last home loss came on Nov. 2, 2012 when they fell 2-1 in overtime to then-No. 5 Connecticut in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship.
• In 2013, UofL posted a perfect 10-0 record at Trager Stadium, going undefeated at home for the first time in school history.
• The 6-2 loss to No. 4 Michigan snapped a 28-game win streak against non-conference opponents at Trager Stadium dating back to 2012. Prior to the Oct. 22 setback, the Cardinals had not lost to a non-conference opponent at home since Aug. 24, 2012 when they fell to Northeastern in their season opener. – Louisville also lost a 2-1 decision to UConn on Oct. 6, 2012 when both teams were members of the BIG EAST Conference.
McFerran Named World Cup Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament
Senior Ayeisha McFerran had a busy hockey-filled summer which culminated in being named Best Goalkeeper of the 2018 World Cup after leading the Irish National Team to a silver medal.
The Larne, Northern Ireland native was instrumental in the Green Army’s historic run, surrendering only three goals in their first five matches, and dominating in a pair of shootout victories as they entered the finals against top-ranked Netherlands. The Dutch went on to capture the gold medal with a 6-0 victory to mark their second straight and eighth overall title.
Aided by McFerran’s outstanding performances in the cage, Hockey Ireland became the first in the nation’s history to reach the World Cup finals.
Making its first World Cup appearance since 2002, Ireland entered the tournament at No. 16 in the FIH world rankings, the second lowest of any team competing in the World Cup and the lowest in their pool. They opened play with wins over the United States and India. Despite a loss to host England, the Irish emerged as the Pool B winner, becoming the first team to gain a spot in the quarterfinals.
Facing India in a quarterfinal rematch, McFerran again posted shutout to send the contest to a shootout where she stopped two attempts as the Irish prevailed 3-1. She followed that performance with another shootout victory, this time turning back four tries help the Green Army emerge with a 3-2 win against Spain.
McFerran is in her fourth year as a member of the Irish National Team. In 2017, she was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament after helping the Green Army to the World League 2 title in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
McFerran is three-time NFHCA All-America selection. The three-time All-West Region and All-ACC team member cemented her status as one of the nation’s top goalkeepers when she collected a career-high 18 saves and turned in another brilliant shootout performance to hold off No. 2 Duke in the semifinals of the conference tournament, sending the Cardinals to their first appearance in the ACC Championship game.
The Cardinals’ roster is bolstered by several players who have gained valuable experience within their countries’ national programs. The following is a list of players and their national squads.
Carter Ayars – U.S. U21 Team (2018)
Mackenzie Karl – U.S. U17 Team (2015-16)
Ayeisha McFerran – Irish National Team (2015-present)
• 2018 FIH World Cup Silver Medal – Goalkeeper of the Tournament
• 2017 World League 2 Champions (Goalkeeper of the Tournament)
Mercedes Pastor – Argentina U21 Team (2015-17); U18 Team (2013-14)
Meghan Schneider – U.S. U21 Team (2018); U19 Team (2017-18)
Taylor Stone – U.S. National Development Team (2018); U21 Team (2017); U19 Team (2015-16); U17 Team (2014-15)
• Also played in 2017 Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem
Katie Walsh – U.S. National Development Team (2018-19)
Assistant Sports Information Director
University of Louisville Athletics